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Individuals expecting to make more than $100,000 a year need to craft a very special resume that commands attention and high salaries from employers.
Writing Your Best Resume
Over the past decade, as the U.S. economy has undergone dramatic and long-lasting changes, the business world has globalized and the employment market become more competitive, resume writing has evolved into a much more complex and more sophisticated process. No longer is it sufficient to type a brief listing of your work history and academic credentials. Remember the days when you prepared your resume in this fashion, passed it along to a few business associates and mailed a handful in response to advertisements? Within a week you were interviewing and within 2-3 weeks you were working.
If you remember that, forget it! The times have changed and the market has changed. Today, resume writing is a competition among often very well-qualified candidates vying for a limited number of opportunities. For that reason alone, resume writing has evolved into an art where, you, as the artist, must transition a blank canvas into a work of art that displays your talents, knowledge, expertise and success.
Showcase Your Talents & Strengths
A resume is the foundation for any successful search campaign and, in fact, it is virtually impossible to manage a job search without a resume. It is your calling card, your brochure, your marketing document. People look at it and are impressed with you and what you have accomplished. You mail it, you email it, you fax it, you hand-carry it, and you leave it behind after an interview so people have something to remember you by. Your resume is crucial in building market visibility and ultimately facilitating job search success.
To understand the value of your resume to your job search process, it is best to start with a clear definition of what a resume is. It is defined as:
· A "sales" document that clearly and succinctly communicates your professional skills, qualifications, knowledge, success and industry expertise.
· A tool designed to sell the high points of your career — your successes and achievements.
· A document that demonstrates the value you bring to a prospective employer.
· A visual presentation that communicates an executive image.
A resume is not:
· A biography of your entire career, every job you have ever held, every internship you have ever completed and every course you have ever attended.
· A document containing lengthy job descriptions and lists of duties and responsibilities.
· A passive, low-energy and narrative summary of your work history.
Today's Competitive $100,000+ Resume
Above is a precise outline of what a resume is and is not. Commonsense would have it that if you followed that outline, you'd know precisely what to do. However, as an executive job seeker, you face unique challenges in developing, writing and designing a resume that will position you for a $100,000+ position.
What it is that makes your resume so very different from others? What must you do to competitively position your resume and make it get noticed in the crowd of other qualified candidates? What makes your resume so special and so unique? The answers are straightforward:
· $100,000 resumes are marketing tools, written to "sell" a job seeker into his or her next position.
· $100,000+ resumes are dynamic, distinctive and hard-hitting.
· $100,000+ resumes present a clear and concise picture of "who" the job search candidate is.
· $100,000+ resumes are sharp and upscale in their visual presentation.
· $100,000+ resumes focus on success and achievement.
· $100,000+ resumes clearly communicate the value of a job seeker.
· $100,000+ resumes highlight the experiences, qualifications and knowledge that make each candidate unique.
Most significantly, the writing, tone, style and presentation of a $100,000+ resume must be superb. The wording must be aggressive and the presentation top-of-the-line. The impression it leaves the reader with must be that of an accomplished and successful executive who has delivered strong results and demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. The resume must communicate "I bring value to you and to your organization." If you are ever going to "toot your own horn," this is the time to do it!
Translating Your Qualifications Into Hard-Hitting Resume Content
Etch these words into your head, your heart and your soul ... Resume writing is sales! Say that phrase over and over until it becomes a part of you, for it is this mindset that will propel you to write a top-notch executive resume.
Your resume is a document that should be written specifically to market and merchandise your talents. Critical to that concept is the "sell it to me, don't tell it to me" strategy. Think about that. You do not want to tell someone what you have done. Rather, you want to sell what you have accomplished. How do you do that? You do that by writing powerful sentences, highlighting your achievements and qualifications, using action verbs, and creating a resume that communicates success.
To better understand the concept of selling your qualifications, here are a few examples:
· Managed 12 sales regions and 82 sales associates throughout the U.S.
· Independently planned and directed a team of 82 sales associates marketing sophisticated networking and E-commerce products throughout the Northeastern U.S. Closed 1999 at 175% of revenue quota and 187% of profit goal.
· Managed accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and MIS functions.
· Chief Financial Officer with full responsibility for the corporate finance organization for a $270 million industrial plastics manufacturer. Directed financial planning, accounting, tax, treasury, budgeting and MIS functions. Managed a direct reporting staff of 12.
· Hired to reorganize the entire administrative function of the company.
· Recruited by Chief Administrative Officer to plan and direct the complete redesign and reorganization of all administrative and support functions for Dell's 2000-employee customer support network. Reduced operating costs 15% in first six months.
"Sell it to me, don't tell it to me" ... see what a difference in makes in the words, the tone, the style and the impact?
Use The Language Of Key Words
The words that you select create the tone and energy of your resume. If you use words such as "responsible for" and "duties included," your resume becomes passive, boring and repetitive. But when you use words such as ... directed, designed, created, achieved, delivered, increased, improved, launched, revitalized ... your resume comes to life and communicates energy, drive and achievement.
There are four strategies to follow that will help you determine your word choice. All except #3 are critical to every individual writing a resume. Strategy #3 is important only if your job search is focused on a particular industry or related group of industries.
[check] Strategy #1: Write in the active first-person (dropping the "I's"); never the third-person. What does this mean? Here's an example:
Active First-Person: Reduced annual purchasing costs by 12%.
Third-Person: Mr. Smith reduced annual purchasing costs by 12%.
Can you see the difference? The first example communicates "I did this." The second example communicates "Mr. Smith, the other guy, did that" and it moves ownership away from you. Your resume must be a part of who you are and not a distant third-party voice.
[check] Strategy #2: Use key words specific to your current professional goals. If you're looking for a job in sales, use sales, marketing and customer service words. If you're looking for a position in manufacturing, use words related to production, product management, inventory and workforce management. These key words are essential if you want to communicate you have the "right" set of skills and experience for the type of position you are seeking. What's more, key words are an essential component in the resume scanning process (when companies and recruiters use scanners to determine if you have the appropriate skills and qualifications for a particular opportunity). The computer, not a person, "reads" your resume. Therefore, word choice is critical.
[check] Strategy #3: Use key words specific to your current preferences for type of industry. Strategy #3 is applicable only if your job search is industry-specific. If you are looking for a position in a technology industry, use the appropriate technology acronyms. If you're looking for a position in the retail industry, talk about buying, merchandising and loss prevention. If the insurance industry is your objective, use words such as indemnity, E&O and risk assessment. These key words are essential if you want to communicate you have the "right" set of skills and experience for the industry. What's more, just as with "professional" key words, "industry" key words have become an essential component in the resume scanning process.
Here are a few sample key words for 28 different professions and industries. Use this list to get you thinking about the key words that are specific to your profession (Strategy #2) and your industry (Strategy #3).
* Accounting: Payables, Receivables, General Ledger, Financial Analysis, Reporting, Audit, Budgeting, Month-End Closings
* Administration: Executive Liaison Affairs, Board of Directors, Minutes, Recordkeeping, Scheduling, Project Administration
* Association Management: Fundraising, Corporate Sponsorships, Member Services, Outreach, Advocacy, Regulatory & Legal Affairs
* Banking: De Novo Banking, Commercial, Retail, Back Office, Lending, Cross-Border Transactions, Regulatory Compliance
* Construction: Commercial, Industrial & Residential, Project Planning, Scheduling, Contracts, Environmental Assessment
* Corporate Finance: Tax, Treasury, Mergers, Acquisitions, Budgeting, Cost Avoidance, Investment Management, Forecasting, Analysis
* Education: Curriculum Development, Instructional Systems Design, Program Administration, Testing & Placement, Training
* Engineering: Prototype Development, Project Management, Failure Analysis, Reliability, Experimental Design, Product Functionality
* Government: Regulatory Compliance & Reporting, Public/Private Sector, Competitive Bidding, Fixed Price Contracts, VIP Relations
* Health Care: Patient Management, Treatment Planning, Emergency Intervention, Invasive Therapies, Utilization Review
* Hospitality: Food & Beverage, Guest Relations, Facilities Management, Meetings & Events, Amenities, Labor & Food Cost Controls
* Human Resources: Staffing, Training & Development, Compensation, Benefits Administration, Employee Assistance, HRIS Technology
* Human Services: Diagnostic Assessment, Case Management, Inter-Agency Relations, Crisis Intervention, Treatment Planning
* Information Technology: Client/Server, Web-Enabling, Internet/ Intranet, Integration, Migration, Configuration, Platform, Hardware, Software
* Insurance: Claims Administration, Risk Management, Liability, P&C, E&O, LLC, Portfolio Management, Client Development
* Investment Finance: Mergers, Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Venture Funding, ROI, ROA, ROE, Portfolio Management, NASD, Cross-Border
* Law/Legal: Legal Research & Writing, Case Management, Judicial Proceedings, Investigations, Client Representation
* Logistics: Purchasing, Supply Chain, Inventory Planning, Warehousing, Distribution, Transportation, Resource & Asset Management
* Manufacturing: Productivity & Yield Improvement, Cost Reduction, MRP, JIT, Manufacturing Cell, Quality, Materials, Scheduling, Control
* Marketing: Multimedia Communications & Presentations, New Market Development, Product Launch, Advertising, Branding
* Media: New Media, Production, Direction, Broadcasting, On-Air Talent, Studio Engineering, E-Commerce, Press Relations
* Purchasing: Supply Chain Management, Vendor Sourcing, Contract Negotiations, Fixed Price, Inventory Planning,
* Quality: Engineering, Reliability, ISO, TQM, Quality Assurance, Failure Analysis & Reporting, Product Performance, Quality Audits
* Real Estate: Residential, Commercial & Industrial Properties, Buy/ Sell Negotiations, Contracts, Regulatory Compliance, Marketing
* Retail: Multi-Site Operations, Merchandising, Loss Prevention, Sales, Customer Service, Training, Facilities, Buying, In-Store Events
* Sales: Customer Presentations, Negotiations, Sales Closings, New Product Launch, Contracts, Competitive Positioning
* Security: Corporate Security, VIP Protection, Risk Assessment, Perimeter & Facilities Control, Emergency Preparedness
* Telecommunications: Infrastructure, Technology, Networking, Internet/Intranet, Cellular, Base Station, Voice & Data, Secure Transmissions
[check] Strategy #4: Write for the level of position you are pursuing — professional, managerial and executive. Use hard-hitting words and phrases that communicate the level of expertise that you bring to an organization. Do not talk about "controlling revenues"; talk about "P&L management." Do not talk about "supervising staff"; talk about "building and leading a 20-person management team." Use words and phrases such as:
* Accelerating Revenue Growth
* Aggressive Turnaround Leadership
* Best-in-Class Operations
* Capturing Cost Reductions
* Competitively Positioning Products, Services & Technologies
* Continuous Improvement
* Cross-Cultural Communications
* Cross-Culturally Sensitive
* Cross-Functional Team Leadership
* Distinguished Performance
* Driving Product Development & Innovation
* E-Commerce & E-Business
* Emerging Ventures
* Entrepreneurial Drive & Vision
* Executive Presentations & Negotiations
* Fast-Track Promotion
* Global Business Development
* International Business Expansion
* Matrix Management
* Mergers & Acquisitions
* Multinational Organizations
* Negotiating Strategic Alliances
* New Media
* Organization(al) Leadership
* Outperforming Global Competition
* Outsourcing Operations
* Partnerships & Joint Ventures
* Performance Revitalization
* Pioneering Technologies
* Proactive Change Agent
* Process Redesign & Optimization
* Start-Up, Turnaround & High-Growth Organizations
* Strong & Sustainable Revenue Gains
* Technologically Sophisticated Organizations
* Visionary Leadership
Excerpted from Best Resumes for $100,000+ Jobs by Wendy S. Enelow. Copyright © 2001 by Wendy S. Enelow. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
|1. Writing Your Best Resume||1|
|* Showcase Your Talents & Strengths||1|
|* Today's Competitive $100,000+ Resume||2|
|* Translating Your Qualifications Into Hard-Hitting|
|* Use the Language of Key Words||4|
|2. Creating a Powerful Resume||10|
|* Making the Best Choices||10|
|* The Three Types of Resume Styles||11|
|- Chronological Resumes||11|
|- Functional Resumes||11|
|- Combination-Style Resumes||12|
|* The Three Types of Presentation Styles||12|
|- The Traditional Printed Resume||12|
|- The Electronic Resume||14|
|- The Emerging Web Resume||14|
|* Expert Resources||15|
|3. Building Your Best Resume||17|
|- Career Summary/Career Profile||19|
|- Professional Experience||22|
|- Professional & Community Activities||26|
|- Technology Qualifications||26|
|- Honors & Awards||27|
|- Public Speaking||29|
|- Teaching & Training||29|
|- International Experience||30|
|- Personal Information||31|
|* Streamlining Your Outline||32|
|* The Resume Writing Process||32|
|* Getting Started||34|
|4. Best Resume Samples||36|
|* Painting The "Best Picture"||36|
|* Resume Samples|
|- Association Management||70|
|- Corporate Development||92|
|- Customer Service||94|
|- Electronics Technology||99|
|- Executive Management/General Management||110|
|- Finance — Corporate||131|
|- Finance — Investment||144|
|- Food & Beverage||150|
|- Health Care/Medical||157|
|- Human Resources||163|
|- Information Technology — MIS, Computers, Web,|
|- International Business||186|
|- Public Relations||217|
|- Real Estate||223|
|- Supply Chain||239|
|- Travel & Tourism||250|
|Appendix B Resume Preparation Forms||269|
|Appendix C Frequently Asked Questions||275|